CITY HALL — A new 51-story tower coming to Wacker Drive that will include a new stretch of riverwalk is one step away from final approval.
The City Council's Committee on Zoning, Landmark and Building Standards Monday unanimously approved the 800-foot-tall tower proposed for 110 N. Wacker Drive, next to the Civic Opera House.
The tower would include more than 1 million square feet of office space and a 40-foot-tall lobby, but also a new stretch of riverwalk that would be open to the public.
Developing the Chicago River into a destination akin to Lake Michigan has long been a priority of city officials, who have negotiated new riverwalks into new developments coming to Wacker and the Old Main Post Office, among other places.
The tower is a venture between Dallas-based Howard Hughes Corp. and Chicago-based Riverside Investment & Development Co., the latter of which just opened the new cantilevered tower at 150 N. Riverside Plaza.
The tower will contribute $19.5 million into the city's neighborhood opportunity fund, the city's department of planning and development said. That is the biggest contribution to date for the fledgling fund, which diverts proceeds from Downtown developments to less economically vibrant areas.
"This project will add to Chicago’s skyline while continuing to build on our thriving riverfront,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a prepared statement. “It will also benefit every corner of Chicago by making the largest-to-date commitment to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, which is designed to drive economic activity and create amenities in our neighborhoods that need it most.”
If approved by the full City Council Wednesday as expected, the tower would replace the vintage and relatively squat General Growth Building.